Right now Kevin Love runs the NBA rumor mill. Earlier today it was reported that Kevin Love wants out of Minnesota. Now Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports says the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics plan on offering their lottery picks for the disgruntled power forward:
Boston and Los Angeles plan to make high-lottery picks in the 2014 NBA Draft available in offers for Love, sources said.
No team is likely to trade for Love without an assurance that he’ll commit to a five-year, $100 million maximum contract extension in the summer of 2015. Despite a belief that Love prefers Los Angeles or New York as a potential destination, he’s open to deals in other markets where he can be part of an immediate contender, sources said.
Woj’s news correlates with all of the talk that has surrounded the league’s best power forward. Kevin Love wants out. He wants to compete for a championship. He’ll leave in free agency if the Timberwolves won’t trade him. These are all things we’ve heard over the last two seasons and the closer we get to the summer of 2015
In regards to the Lakers, Celtics, or other immediate contenders interested in Love (Woj says those teams include Phoenix and Golden State), the idea of giving up a lottery pick for Love continues to not make sense. Is Love worth a top-5 pick in the biggest draft since 2003? Of course he is and the odds of him having a better career than anyone drafted in the 2014 NBA Draft is pretty high. But how can Wolves demand a top pick when they lack leverage? You know what happens if a team tells the Wolves no to trading a lottery pick for Love? The Wolves miss out on a valuable piece of talent and a year later, Love walks freely in free agency.
Regardless of the number of teams wanting for Love, he’s a member of the Wolves until his contract is up. But if the rumors of him wanting out as soon as possible are true, this puts the Wolves management in a tough spot. They’ve no head coach at the moment. They lack a high lottery print and lack the cap space to make a big enough improvement to make the Wolves contenders in the Western Conference.
While Minnesota fans don’t want to hear it, the Kevin Love saga could end sooner than most expect. Except it won’t be in the way that they hope.